Cities are where we can pioneer new cycles of net zero investment, bringing together revised urban utilities and infrastructure, with a new approach to the built environment, and an enabling environment that allows citizens to make easy low carbon choices. Local government leaders have been in the vanguard of taking action against the damaging impacts of climate change, including in cities. In the UK, local partnerships have been formed around climate emergencies declarations, identifying and implementing programmes of work. Climate action becoming more integrated within city economic recovery plans, recognising that the green economy will both produce some of the quickest impacts and achieve the most long-lasting benefits.
Despite this heightened activity, the investment case for local net zero programmes and interventions remains poorly developed. The barriers to investment lie not in the availability of finance, but rather the ability to create robust business cases and investment models that address issues of scale, longevity and confidence. Through dialogue with the investment community, it is clear that such business cases will be strengthened where the plans of cities can be brought together, generating greater scale, volume, and predictability, thereby creating a more attractive and substantial proposition for investors.
Core Cities, London Councils and the Connected Places Catapult have jointly established the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission to address this deficit head-on. Using our collective networks and capabilities we are seeking to leverage the combined scale of cities to mobilise finance and drive investment into low and net zero carbon projects across all of the UK’s largest cities, rather than individual ones.
As an initial step we have commissioned research to assess and analyse the low carbon investment that cities need, and the associated investment cases. The findings of the report will be launched at COP26 with a series of dissemination events being planned in the months leading up to November. I sincerely hope that as a result of this work we will be able to;
• Support UK cities in achieving their carbon reduction targets, whilst developing a deeper understanding of the low carbon investment opportunities and challenges faced by UK cities.
• Create increased confidence within the investment community in low carbon projects by leveraging the benefits of the scale offered through networks of cities rather than individual ones.
• Provide the basis for engaging with industry on the opportunities for the supply and deployment of low carbon technologies into the marketplace.
To read the Joint Declaration from partners and the commission, please click the link below.
UK CCIC Advisory Board
UK CCIC Launch
The UK CCIC officially launched on 1 July 2021 during London Climate Action Week – you can watch the video recording of the event here. To find out more about the role of the Commission and the early stage findings of the report on ‘The Estimated Net Zero Investment Need for the UK’s Cities’ from this launch event, please click here.